Exciting times for my chocolate labrador, Henry, who’s just passed his Kennel Club bronze award this morning on the Wirral. This was actually taken last night near Delamere Forest in Cheshire.
Here’s a watercolour I painted a couple of years ago for my brother’s 40th birthday. This was before it was framed.
It was actually quite heavy and bulky once framed so it was carefully bubblewrapped and taken on board an EasyJet flight from Liverpool’s John Lennon International Airport for the short hop to the Isle of Man.
Hope you like it.
No, not the pub made famous in the BBC soap opera – Eastenders – this ‘Old Vic’ is a recently restored water fountain dating back to 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. After falling into disrepair due to exposure to the elements, the Queen Victoria drinking fountain is back to its former glory on the shore between Hoylake and Meols on the Wirral.
A fabulous looking artefact by anybody’s standards – resplendent on a clear blue day – looking out proudly towards the Irish Sea and the Atlantic beyond.
Here’s a detail showing Queen Victoria .. Empress of India in those days too! The fountain clearly befitting her power and status.
Not quite sure what the significance of the white bird is. Feel free to offer suggestions. Here’s that flower in a little more detail, too.
This is the view across the marshes at Parkgate on the Wirral. In the middle of July. Yes, that’s right, July. In case you can’t tell from the picture, it was raining as well. Just not funny any more, is it?
Two shots of some rusting and authentic signage taken at Hadlow Road – a preserved railway station at Willaston on the Wirral.
The one above is for the well-known drink made from meat extract – an acquired taste shall we say.
While this is fairly self-explanatory. Let’s just say it brought back memories of travelling on local trains into Liverpool’s Central Station.
Looking more like San Francisco’s world-renowned hippy haven – the Haight – these beached boats in Hoylake were a marvel to behold.
Spray painted colours to brighten the darkest of seas. Designs to baffle and bewilder Neptune himself!
Psychedelia meets street art.
Dazzling colours and designs.
Haight or Hoylake? Here’s a clue.
Sunshine and cloudy skies in Hoylake at the end of the Wirral Peninsula, looking out towards Liverpool Bay and the mouth of the River Mersey.
A year or two ago I’d had an enquiry from a potential client in Redruth in Cornwall. Even now that’s a long trip by train or car from Liverpool, so I opted to fly down. There’s a great route that BMI operate from Manchester to Newquay with a flying time of just 45 minutes. One minute the industrial connurbation that is Manchester, the next you’re dropping down over glorious Cornish countryside with the Atlantic Ocean for company. Business meeting over I took the opportunity to head down to St.Ives.
With only my iPhone camera for company here are some of the shots I managed to get. This one is looking out from the harbour as a few yachts made the most of a balmy June evening’s sailing. The harbour was mostly drained that night as the tide was out, and fishing boats were effectively beached.
Happy memories of family holidays here in the late 1970s did, however, flood back. My grandmother had had family in St.Ives – in fact, that was the name of the family home where she grew up on the Wirral. Her father’s family had lived in St Mewan over near St.Austell, but the roots were scattered all around this part of Cornwall, including Redruth too as it happened. An abiding memory was of my grandmother nearly taking a dive off the harbour wall as she got a foot caught in a mooring. The harbour was full of water that day and I’m not sure how brave I’d have been if truth be told. She merely saw the funny side of things and carried on eating an ice cream – Cornish ice cream, of course!
The sun was setting now and casting a soft light all around. I really liked the shapes made by the buoys and ropes as they lay stranded.
St Ives isn’t just about it’s glorious location and harbour. These days it’s also home to Tate St Ives. This small Cornish fishing port had in fact been the home of the St.Ives school of artists that included Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis (a personal favourite), and Patrick Heron to name a few. All highly influential in the story of modern art. This large piece by Patrick Heron hangs in the entrance to the gallery. I love the colours and the shapes that seem to capture the life of St. Ives in a very original way.
A final dramatic image presented itself to me in hills just above St Ives as I made my way back to the guest house. Cornwall is about fishing but it’s history was all about tin mining too. Here was one of the now defunct mines standing proud in the unique light of a Kernow evening.
Kernow? It’s Cornish for Cornwall. Must go back soon.
With dramatic events unfolding in world economies, it’s easy to overlook the natural drama in the world around us.
Here, windsurfers on West Kirby marina on the Wirral race across the water under an October sky that looks like it’s been ripped open.
By way of a trailer, here’s a pic of my backpack complete with camera and sketch. More photos of my day on the Wirral and maybe even some shots of my sketches, too, coming soon!